Unrelated Circumstance. PART XVII – My Kingdon For a Horse

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Amidst the backdrop of Napoleonic War raging across Europe, soldiers seek distraction from the horrors of the battle field. Major Grant is an officer of the British Army serving under Wellington in France. An officer, a gentleman and a connoisseur of female bottoms, Major Grant finds himself unusually captivated by a mysterious woman…..

By morning the group had spread themselves across the countryside forage for food and steal what they could.  Two fine horses were tethered in the field where we slept and stood like statues warming themselves in the early rays of sunlight.  They appeared to be better fed and watered than their owners, this, however, this did not surprise me as a horse would be needed should the Provost Militia come seeking bounty money.  As I sat pondering my next moved it struck me that this was likely to be the only chance of my escape.  

I secured my belongings and walked over to the lone man seated in the field keeping watch.  Expecting me to slow my advance upon him, he started to stand as I raised my boot.  I struck him on the jaw and finished him with a knee as he went down.  Taking charge of his pistol I gathered the reins of both horses and walked calmly out through the gate and out on to the road.  As I rounded the corner my acquaintance from the previous night stood looking in the opposite direction.  I raised the pistol as he turned to answer the sound of hooves.  His hand went to his sword and his mouth opened in alarm.  Before a sound left his lips, the side of his face disappeared in flash of fire and puff of smoke. He fell still grasping his sword.  Mounting one of the horses I pull the second close and galloped away at speed without looking back.

 By late afternoon and a change of horse, I collapsed in a copse that protected both the horses and I.  The saddlebags of the horses had been prepared for a fast departure by the deserters. Their contents contained dried meat, water, a sum of gold and various cooking pots.  I soon discovered various items stolen from the dead of a battlefield. Small cameo portraits, snuff boxes, timepieces and personal precious items.  I discarded this haul immediately in a nearby ditch. To be caught with such items would only lead to a rope being firmly set about my neck.  I returned to my place of safety and settled down in the early evening light. On the floor I had dropped a small locket by mistake from the illicit haul. The small delicate item contained a lock of hair and on the reverse a portrait of a woman.  I clasped the locket in my fist and imagined Eleanor’s hair and face were contained within my hand.  I longed for contact with her; to see her face and hear her voice would be wonderful. Even though she had given me a brief insight as to her dreams, I felt insecure that she would change her mind at a moments notice.  I was tired and the thought of her rejection hung heavy on my limbs. Her last communication, however,  had lifted my spirits, and made me smile every time I thought of her laying the words down. I wished the miles between us would reduce by thought alone.  God how I wished I could hold her or see the sparkle in her eye.

 

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